The mission of the KDK-Harman Foundation is to break the cycle of poverty

through education while promoting a culture of giving excellence. 

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Philosophy of Giving




KDK-Harman Foundation believes that an excellent education for all students is the civil and human rights issue of our time, and that education is the great equalizer. Further, the Foundation is a firm believer that institutional change in education takes more than money. It requires collaboration and knowledge about what works, as well as access to tools that help put that knowledge into practice. We recognize that our impact is limited when serving as a sole player in this arena. KDK remains committed to increasing organizational and field effectiveness, advancing knowledge and encouraging knowledge sharing, and promoting collaboration among stakeholders.


Janet Harman is a strong believer that nonprofits and schools can bring about lasting change if they are given strategic, hands-on support to grow their organizations. To reflect that belief, KDK-Harman Foundation takes a high engagement approach to its philanthropy by working closely with grantees to provide financial, operational and networking support. The focus is toward building upon the capacity of our grantees so that they can execute their missions effectively and efficiently, thereby making a lasting difference in the lives of disadvantaged families.


KDK-Harman Foundation’s long-term desired impact is to close achievement gaps for low-income students in Central Texas, preparing them with 21st Century skills and access to quality careers, and therefore, breaking the cycle of poverty for them and future generations. We seek to do this by improving student achievement beginning in the primary grades and particularly in math and science, raising graduation rates, and ensuring students are prepared for post-secondary success. 


The KDK-Harman Foundation believes that grantmakers only succeed when their grantees achieve meaningful results. Therefore, we seek “best in class” programs that can demonstrate proven and measurable outcomes. We also believe that, as a foundation, we must possess the same qualities and characteristics that we seek out in our grantees. Therefore, we make every effort to exhibit transparency, accountability, fairness, and responsiveness in all of our interactions with the community. Foundation staff and board members also seek to possess a vision of change for the education field and the community in which our nonprofit colleagues work, and the expertise to help make the change happen. As a foundation, we pledge to become knowledgeable about nonprofit management, funding resources, and specific issues regarding education so that we may better understand what agencies face working in the field.


Funding Areas of Interest


The KDK-Harman Foundation believes that if we want Central Texas students to excel academically, explore careers, and develop the 21st century skills necessary to thrive in today’s global society, we need to start thinking and talking about education differently by re-imagining how, when, and where young people learn. We seek to integrate in-and-out-of-school learning by supporting efforts to reimagine and expand learning time during the traditional school day and year as well as during the summer months in order to meet students where they are.


As a result, in 2011 the Foundation honed its grantmaking strategy to focus on the following three grantmaking areas:


  • Projects that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and integrating technology into teaching and learning;
  • Improving the quality of and access to out-of-school time programs;
  • Enabling and supporting systems-level change and collaboration to support an excellent education for all Central Texas students.


We envision a region where all students can experience blended learning environments both in and out-of-school, and engage in project-based and inquiry-based learning that prepares them for post-secondary success. As a result, the achievement gap is consistently narrowing between low-income students and middle and upper income students, with a growing number of at-risk students completing high school and pursuing post-secondary opportunities and living wage careers.